The first meeting convened with the purpose of establishing a House of Azores in the eastern coast of the United States took place on the church of St. Francis Xavier and was attended byHeitor Sousa and John Correia. Both took it upon themselves to realize an idea that was presented in the United States by Renato Borges, head of the House of Azores of Lisbon.
The House of Azores of New England was officially founded on the 8th June 1982 as the House of the Azores of the State of Rhode Island. The solemn occasion of its foundation was attended by the Secretary of State of Rhode Island, Mr. Anthony Florio, accompanied by John F. Correia, John B. Paiva, João Cabral, Sérgio A. Simões, Joseph Goulart, John Faria and William A. Castro, all of whom filled the required forms and joined this non-profit organization. The House of Azores was established with the purpose of promoting educational, cultural and social opportunities as well as cultural and touristic exchanges between the Azorean community in the southeast of New England and the Azores.
Two months after its foundation, on the 20th of August 1982, it was decided to form a commission to oversee the establishment of the House of Azores of Rhode Island. From that time, the enrollment of members that were to constitute the General Assembly and the administration was started. The commission was formed, with John Correia as President and João Cabral and Rodolfo Ribeiro as Secretaries.
On the 17th of April 1983, the first Assembly General convened in the provisional head office, situated at St. Francis Xavier School, in East Providence. The first administration of the House of Azores was elected, its members being:
President: William Castro
Vice-President: John Paiva
Secretaries: Virgílio M. Marcos e João Carlos Tavares.
President: João Correia
Vice-President: João Cabral
Treasurer: Joseph Goulart
Secretaries: Rodolfo Ribeiro e António Cordeiro
Assembly members: Florival Viveiros e João de Deus Melo
President: Rolando Raposo
Secretary: Florentino Bettencourt
Rapporteur: Vicente Correia
However, the House of the Azores of the State of Rhode Island closed its doors soon after its foundation, remaining closed for about eight years. In 1990, Leonardo Oliveira and a group of friends that assisted him committed themselves to re-erect the institution, which would henceforth be designated as the House of Azores of New England (CANI).
The first president of the second phase of the House of Azores was Paulo Bettencourt, followed by José Soares, Mariano Alvez, and João Luís Morgado Pacheco. In 2010, Mário Ventura would assume the presidency, a position he held until 2012, when a woman, Nélia Alves-Guimarães, was elected president for the first time. She is now on her second mandate.